Question to Brits regarding currency

I was rather surprised (pleasantly) on arriving in England and converting currency to find Mr Charles Darwin adorning the 10 pound note. When did this happen? Was there much of an outcry from churches and whatnot?
I find it a bit strange because (aside from Liz of course) there are no other people represented among English notes or coins.

I can’t remember the exact date of changeover, but it’s been like that for quite a few years now. IIRC, it was Dickens on there previously.

Not really. We don’t do that sort of thing very much here.

Yes there are. The new £20 has Adam Smith on it (previously Elgar), the £50 has Sir John Houblon, the fiver has Elizabeth Fry on it. Isaac Newton used to be on the pound note and other notable figures - including Shakespeare, Wellington, Florence Nightingale, Christoper Wren - have been on various other versions of various denominations

No - we don’t have such a problem with YECs. They’re rightly regarded as people whose theories are contradicted by the evidence.

ISTR a fiver with Michael Faraday on it. I’m not so familiar with recent Bank of England notes, because I’m in Scotland.

And I hate to do “me too” type stuff, but no, the addition of Darwin to the £10 BoE note was not controversial in any way.

I’m not sure on what grounds anyone could object in any case - Darwin existed and he made significant contributions to science. Not everybody likes Adam Smith, but you can’t deny his existence and impact.

Rational grounds for objection have never been hard to deal with. :slight_smile:

The twenty had Faraday, before Elgar’s appearance.

I have always taken delight in the thought of creationists coming here and finding Darwin’s prominent position.

The first such notes were issued on 7 November 2000.

unspun writes:

> Was there much of an outcry from churches and whatnot?

Aren’t you aware that outside of the U.S. creationists are rather rare?

Absolutely! In its modern existence as a religion which would rather if nobody was inconvenienced (if that’s not too much trouble, thanks awfully), the Church of England happily accepts evolution. In any case, what Rowan Williams says, or the Pope or anybody else for that matter, has little-to-no bearing on people’s lives.

And I’d just like to add that we’d rather keep it that way… so even though I know you have a surfeit of these folks in the USA it’d be best if you didn’t export them. :smiley:

There was a certain amount of harrumphing when Adam Smith appeared on the twenty. Happy days :smiley:

Out of curiosity, just how globally true is this statement? You hear this about Europe and Australia and so on a lot. But, for example, is there anything in the way of Creationist movements in fundamentalist Muslim territories, or is the theory of evolution ho-humly, uncontroversially accepted among them as well? Orthodox Judaism? Whatever the average Chinese person believes? Canada? Etc.

Creationism is not an issue in England, but it seems that it has greater support within the British state as a whole than the above posters would suggest. Cite. In the North of Ireland it has very strong support from Ian Paisley’s DUP, who hold the First Minister post in the Northern Assembly (but fortunately not the Education Ministry). 'Nother cite.

His hand, though, is another matter… :wink:


Creationists themselves are not absent from the UK, it’s just that for one reason or another, they’re not taken very seriously by anyone other than themselves (and perhaps not even that, in all cases) - which, when you consider that we don’t have formal separation of church and state, is quite interesting.

Just to add my 2 pence

  • we don’t have much truck with creationists, and don’t pay much attention to our religious leaders.

If I remember correctly, we put Wellington on the blue £5 note at a particularly sensitive time with Europe :slight_smile:

Here’s the Wikipedia entry that comes closest to talking about the level of belief in creationism around the world:

Even the level of support for creationism in the U.S. is exaggerated. Those people in the U.S. who say that they don’t believe in evolution are largely those that haven’t seriously thought about the matter much. After all, very few people have the opportunity to think about the idea of evolution much in their ordinary life. Hardly any scientists are creationists. Not that many high school biology teachers are creationists. Courts in the U.S. have consistently ruled against even mentioning creationism in public schools. Those politicians who talk publicly about creationism have done almost nothing about it. Creationists in the U.S. are in the same position as people who believe in U.F.O.'s, parapsychological phenomena like telepathy, or Kennedy assassination conspiracies. Whatever the the level of popular support for these things are, it hasn’t actually made any inroads on official support for them. The influence of creationism remains today much as it has been since the mid-twentieth century - lots of believers who have little effect on the official positions about the subject.

Insert “Hitler” where appropriate. ISTM Darwin’s presence on a note does imply acceptance and a positive view of him, not merely that he existed and had impact.

And the irony is that it was seen as insensitive when Wellington was a great European. He had, after all, just saved Europe from the dictatorship of Napoleon. And he was an excellent diplomat. He spent a lot of time in diplomacy after Waterloo.